I'm not sure if you all realize this- but summer officially ended today. This is a hard pill to swallow because I know what lies ahead for we Mid-Westerners. I want more sweaty patio shows and lazy days at the cabin... I don't want to have to dig out my damn ice cleats and plan for 2-hour commutes to and from my day job. I will say however, it was an amazing season for our little band- and it gave me a renewed sense of hope for a career in music and for humanity in general.
June 21st was the first day of summer and we spent the weekend in Loring Park, participating in Twin Cities Pride. We were honored to be performing on the main stage for the second year in a row, and the surge in audience attendance (for our set) from last year to this year was astonishing. Predictably, I was nervous that we would be playing to an empty expanse of grass, but you showed up and you made us feel the love that afternoon as the storm clouds rolled in and we warmed the stage for the glorious TLC crew. Backstage, we acted like a bunch of little kids- frolicking in our air-conditioned tent and holding our VIP lanyards close to our chests, like they held the answers to the universe. It was absolutely thrilling for us to see people singing along to our songs and we were amazed by how many wonderful folks came up after our set to connect with us. I honestly can't think of a better way to have kicked off our summer gigging season. I know that some of you couldn't be there because of geographical logistics, but if you were there, we saw you, and we thank you.
The following weekend was our first road trip of the summer, and we actually got to ride together as a band. Up until that point we had been driving 3 vehicles to our gigs, which was not ideal for a multitude of reasons. We were bound for Sioux Falls and then Fargo in a borrowed SUV, pulling a U-haul trailer full of our gear. We had a terribly rocky start to the day with the U-haul brake lights malfunctioning and the company being unwilling to do anything about it. Poor Danny Rampage had to frantically find a shop that would take it in and fix it on the fly, as I sat at home alternately hyperventilating and making phone calls to curse out U-haul management. Traveling with 5 adult bodies in a small SUV for 720 miles really makes you appreciate deodorant- and the spaciousness of a van. It was on that trip that we found Vanna White online and vowed to bring her home.
The next couple of weeks were filled with local patio shows, and a little hiatus, while Davey Hazard explored Scandinavia. He learned to appreciate the nuances of a good lutefisk and how to skillfully traverse the fjords. In his absence, I spent the week working at She Rock She Rock, a local non-profit that puts on music camps around the metro for girls, trans, and non-binary kids. I've been doing this every summer for the past decade and it is one of the more rewarding things life has presented me with. Every year is different, and every year new songs fill my head, as these talented kids write what could be the next big hit! For those avid readers of the Danger Diaries, you know that it was a little hard for me to be without Davey. Our relationship is like that of siblings who squabble and disagree- but who also appreciate and admire one another. I was happy when he returned in one piece and we could commence writing!
The following weekend we were victors up in Ashland, WI as we made the "Bay Area Battle of the Bands" our little bitch... just kidding, but we did get first place and it was a wild ride with some tough competition. When we arrived after a 5-hour drive, we were told there was inclement weather coming and the event was canceled. I went into crisis mode and was advised to do some deep breathing while Mary Mayhem called the National Weather Service and they disputed this claim. After a short delay, the battle commenced and we had a memorable time entertaining the Bay Days crowd. If you're late to the party and you missed the rest of that story, head to: Danger Diaries #20 for a more elaborate description as well as the story of our maiden voyage in Vanna White.
Our video release party at Mayslack's for Porno On The Radio turned out to be a fabulous party! Special thanks to our super Hotties who showed up clad in their hot pink wigs and HPH logo shirts. We lovingly witnessed you rocking out to what was (up until that night) the longest electric set we had played. We even had a special guest show up for the party.
Headlining Duluth-Superior Pride was a heart-warming experience and we cannot wait to be back with everyone in Bay Front Festival Park again next year. The Baystock festival also gets more and more lively each time we play it and this year was no exception. After a magical set under the pines we sat in front of a roaring bonfire and just as we'd finished our last sip of beer, the rains came. Vanna traversed her passengers through the logging trails of northern Wisconsin like a tank. Smoked fish, nature hikes, sunny days, and star-filled nights filled our weekend up in my beloved hometown. Read more in #26.
So there you have it, folks! Fall is here. We're gearing up for a handful of local Bare Naked Benders, another single release, and a few more surprises- but mainly we'll be focusing on recording our first full-length album!!! Danny Rampage has been hard at work at the drafting table, coming up with the latest poster in his themed seasonal series, which you can take a glimpse at below... availability for this item will be limited. Get the pre-order for first dibs. Hugs and kisses from yours truly and thanks for a great summer of 2019!